New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 9 Ides of March

Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of “0 A.D. Alpha 9 Ides of March”, the ninth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This alpha debuts the Roman faction, new combat and trade systems and more.

Easy Download and Install
Download and installation instructions are available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. 0 A.D. is free of charge and always will be. You can redistribute it and modify it as long as you abide by the GPL. You can even use parts of the art and sound for your own projects as long as you abide by CC-BY-SA. No “freemium” model, no in-game advertising, no catch.

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Top new features in this release:

  • The Roman Republic faction, playable on custom scenarios and random map scripts–in single player and multiplayer, complete with a new art set, including new buildings, units, and ships.
  • A new combat system that adds bonuses and weaknesses to each unit, like rock-paper-scissors (e.g. spearmen defeat melee cavalry, but are countered by skirmishers and cavalry archers).
  • A brand new trading system, over land with traders trained from markets, and over sea with merchant ships built at the dock. Establish a trade route between two markets or docks, and your traders will gain resources for every trip made. You can choose which resource will be gained by a trader.
  • Over a dozen new random map scripts by Spahbod, wraitii, and mmayfield45.
  • New animations: Rowing oars for ships, rams, some catapults, traders, some animals.
  • AI improvements: 0 A.D.’s default AI, qBot, has had a performance increase and had a serious bug fixed with the attack code.
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All works CC BY SA Wildfire Games.
  • Music and Sound:Four new tracks and one re-made track, all composed and directed by Omri Lahav, featuring Marta Mc’cave on the flute and Shir-Ran Yinon on the viola. Two of the tracks celebrate the Roman faction with a very Italian mandolin.
    • An Old Warhorse Goes to Pasture – An Iberian early peace track
    • Juno Protect You – A Roman early peace track
    • Elysian Fields – A Roman peace track
    • Highland Mist – A Celtic early peace track
    • The Road Ahead – A remade, neutral (not faction-specific) peace track
  • Bug fixes and minor features:
    • Outposts available for all factions. These are cheap and can be built quickly anywhere on the map except on enemy territory, but are weak and easily destroyed.
    • Minimap colors have been adjusted to see player units more clearly
    • Hunters now automatically continue hunting after they finish gathering from one animal
    • Military-only bandboxing (Thanks, gerbilOFdoom)
    • Improved Atlas selection behavior
    • Garrisoning now has a range check (no more teleporting)
    • Allies are now placed near each other in random maps
    • Fixed OS X fullscreen mode (Thanks, Echelon9)
    • Improved FreeBSD support
    • Improved COLLADA importer
    • Replaced most old 3D models with COLLADA versions
    • Experimental Android/GLES/GLSL support. To be sure, 0 A.D. is not designed to run on smartphones.

Please contribute! (REPORTERS/BLOGGERS, PLEASE MENTION THIS! We need your help to finish the game. Thanks.)
We are seeking contributors in programming, art, sound, web design, taking YouTube videos and more. These roles on the 0 A.D. development team are great if you want to brush up on your skills and update your portfolio, if you’re seeking a project for school with real-life applications, or if you care about the cause of free culture and software and are willing to work pro bono with a group of dedicated volunteers from all over the world.

Interested? Please register on our forums and start a new topic introducing yourself in the applications and contributions forum following these instructions.

Who were the Romans?
The Romans controlled the largest empire of the ancient world. Rising from a group of villages to controlling an empire stretching from southern Scotland to the Sahara Desert, Rome remained one of the strongest nations on earth for almost 800 years, controlling over 60 million inhabitants, one quarter of the Earth’s population at that time.

Rome’s regime changed over time from a republican system to an autocratic empire. While the politicians seemed to be in control, the real power lay with the army. Indeed, war was the heart and soul of the Roman political system, affecting everything that the government did. In fact, Romans reveled in combat and war so much so that one of their favorite forms of entertainment was gladiatorial combat. This resulted in a population that was eager to fight and support their military efforts.

Rome produced not only effective generals but formidable engineers. Today we owe many technological advances to the Romans, who were the supreme builders of the ancient world. Roads, massive buildings, and large mining and water movement projects were common. These inventions and more served to spread the Roman legacy that endures to this day, from language to medicine, from literature to government, and from legal codes to art, architecture and beyond.

The timeframe of 0 A.D., 500 B.C. – 1 B.C., coincides with Rome’s rise to power from a small city-state to one of the greatest empires on earth. In following centuries, however, this massive empire soon became too large to control, and foreign peoples began swarming into the Empire. For centuries, Rome fought an ever-increasing flood of migrant “barbarians”, until the western half of the empire fell in 476 A.D. The eastern half, however, lived on and evolved into a very different empire, called Byzantium. The Byzantines’ religion was Christian, their language was Greek and their capital was in Constantinople, which is modern-day Istanbul. Rome’s eastern successor, Byzantium, continued to be a powerhouse well into the middle ages.

In 0 A.D. the Romans will have many bonuses that match their historic strengths. These include:

  • Powerful infantry,
  • Incredible siege equipment,
  • Superior defensive construction and mining,
  • And an excellent navy.

While the Romans may not specialize extremely well in specific areas, they are one of the most well-rounded civilizations in 0 A.D.

(Source: 0 A.D.: Romans)

Why “Ides of March”?
We name our releases according to development status (“Alpha” or “Beta”), successive release number (1, 2, 3, …) and a word relating to the ancient world, in alphabetical order (“Argonaut” for A, “Bellerophon” for B, …). In honor of the release of the Roman faction, we decided to dub Alpha 9 “Ides of March”.

The ides was a day in the Roman calendar that marked the approximate middle of the month, deriving from the Latin word “Idus” which means “half division”. The ides was the 13th day of most months, but the 15th day of March, May, July, and October. The Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars, and a military parade was usually held. In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was killed in 44 B.C. (Sources: English Wikipedia articles Roman calendar and Ides of March)

For the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world beginning with the letter J. Keep it original and within the 0 A.D. time-frame (appx. 500 BC – 1 BC)!

Long Time, No Siege
Wildfire Games will keep releasing new versions of 0 A.D. from time to time. Watch our news feed to get updates, or follow us by e-mail, RSS, Facebook or Twitter. And you’re always welcome to join the 0 A.D. community on our forums.

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Contact info for press, bloggers, etc.: without the name of Rome’s legendary founder written in all caps.